I wasn’t planning on racing this weekend. Really I wasn’t. But when a Facebook friend posted Friday afternoon, “Who all is doing the Fantastic Four tomorrow???” I started thinking. The whole reason I had NOT planned to race this weekend was because I had been planning on doing a 5K last Saturday and didn’t want to race two weekends in a row. But since I ever-so-gracefully fell last Friday afternoon and didn’t get to race the 5K the next day, that was no longer a reason not to race this weekend.
So I did what any runner would do. I checked weather.com. High 82, sunny, gusty winds developing later in the day. Hmmmm…… but the race started at 8, which should only be 60 and breezy. So I decided right then. I decided to decide when I woke up the next morning.
Well, that almost didn’t work out. I forgot to set my alarm, so thank goodness for starving kitties. (At least that’s what she would have me believe.) Starvin’ Marvin came into the bedroom demanding breakfast at 6:38. Registration started at 7:00.
I went outside with the dogs to assess the situation. Yep, it was about 60ish. Yep, it was breezy, not gusty yet. Cloudy. A little humid, but what the hell. Let’s do this.
I tossed on some clothes, decorated my bedhead with a headband, grabbed the necessities and headed to the high school where I forked over $20 and then sat in my truck yawning and wondering why in the hell I had decided to do this rather than just crawling back into my snuggly bed.
I wasn’t real sure what my goal should be for this race. Of course I wanted to PR, but that was kind of a given since my only other four-mile race was two years ago at a 9:49 pace. I decided I’d just wing it.
We eventually lined up on the track and someone yelled “Go.” Right off the bat, I set my eyes on another girl that I knew to be faster than me and in my age group. The goal became to hang with her as long as I could.
Mile 1 – 8:29
I was still hanging with her pretty well but the gap was widening a little bit. The course was a two-mile out-and-back, and by the turnaround point she was probably a solid 30 seconds in front of me.
Mile 2 – 8:50
Ahhhh, halfway there. But I really didn’t know how much longer I could hold this pace. I felt myself fading. By mile 2.5 I was really wishing that the race had been a 5K. And then the goal shifted again. “MAKE it a 5K with a .9-mile cooldown.” So I raced until my watch read 3.1 miles. I hit the lap button at 27:11–a 40-second 5K PR! Then I walked and caught my breath until my watch read 3.2 miles, at which point I noticed that my average pace was still 8:58. So the goal changed again: Keep it sub-9. I tried. I REALLY tried. But the “pop” was gone out of my legs. I was only keeping it around a 9:10 pace so my average pace was creeping up, but when I saw the finish I was able to pull off enough of a kick to land the average at 8:57. According to my Garmin anyway.
Garmin stats: 4.04 miles/36:04 = 8:57 pace
Official stats: 4.00 miles/36:06 = 9:02 pace
I’LL TAKE IT!!!! 🙂
It was even good enough for a 3rd place AG award. That’s why I love me some small town races!!!
As an added bonus, I scored a $10 Subway gift card as a door prize! Woohoo! That was half of my entry fee that I earned back!
Then I ran four more miles. Because… well, you know… it just sounded like fun.
And then I came home and had an awkward self-timer photo session with my medal on the deck. Because… well, you know… I’m a dork.